The 2006 Pichon Lalande, which blows away the 2005, represents a return to the velvety-textured, rich, sexy style most readers would associate with Pichon Lalande. This blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon and 36% Merlot no Petit Verdot was included in the final blend exhibits a dense purple color as well as abundant aromas of chocolate, coffee, cedar, black currants, and a subtle touch of smoke, a rich, savory, full-bodied mouthfeel, plump, fleshy fruit, and a superb finish. This is a 21st century version of the brilliant 1996. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2030.One of the major disappointments in 2005 was Pichon Lalande, but the change in ownership, with the Roederer/Deutz champagne firm taking control in 2006, resulted in a very severe selection being instituted, only 41% of the production went into the grand vin.
Pichon Lalande’s new owner, the Roederer champagne firm, appears to have produced one of the finest Pichon Lalandes made in recent years. Administrator Thomas Do-Chi-Nam, assisted in 2006 by consultant Hubert de Bouard, declared only 41% of the production as the grand vin, resulting in a wine that should rival both the 2003 and 2000. The final blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon and 36% Merlot was cropped at 41 hectoliters per hectare. This gorgeous wine represents an updated version of the 1996. It boasts a dense purple color as well as a beautiful nose of espresso roast, chocolate, creme de cassis, cedar, and spice. Full-bodied and powerful with high tannin, an attractive mouthfeel, and a multilayered texture, it will be a backward-styled Pichon Lalande, but it is significantly better than the 2005, recalling some of the finest vintages produced over the last 20-35 years. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030+.
Tasted at the property, the 2006 Château Pichon-Lalande has a voluminous bouquet with outgoing blackberry, cassis and violets scents, a touch of boysenberry jam tucked just underneath, although it does not quite have the delineation of the Lynch Bages. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin. This feels very composed in the mouth, quite fresh with well-judged acidity, harmonious and tensile on the finish. This deserves a higher score than I awarded out of barrel and it continues to improve year by year.
Tasted four times, the best taken directly from the bottle instead of the decanter at the château. A lucid deep garnet hue. The nose is reluctant at first, but builds to reveal a delectable nose of blackberries, blueberries and cedar. The palate is harmonious, complex and unlike the sample from the decanter, devoid of astringency. The Merlot shines on the mid-palate, very smooth and seductive with a lush, floral almost Margaux-like finish. A lesser cousin of the great 2005. Tasted April 2007.
Lively, with lots of plum, blackberry and licorice character. Full, round and velvety. Lacks a tiny bit in the midpalate, but nicely done for the vintage.
One of the most pleasant and unexpected surprises in this tasting, the 2006 Pichon Lalande is gorgeous, which is something I can’t say about too many wines in a vintage marked by climatic ups and downs and irregular ripening. Dark, powerful and intense, the 2006 possesses exceptional balance. A host of black cherry, plum, smoke, licorice and menthol flesh out in this decidedly somber, virile Pichon Lalande. In a vintage in which so many wines are so rustic, the 2006 Pichon Lalande is all class. This sleeper Pichon Lalande will drink well for at least the next two decades, perhaps longer. 2017 - 2037
No Petit Verdot in the blend, unusually. A little weak at the rim. Otherwise dense crimson. Slight brûlée note on the nose and then a bit angular. Very chewy and muscular. A bit awkward really with some slightly green notes. Lots of chew and bite. Not graceful, not sure this vintage suits this property. A bit skinny.
Bright ruby-red. Aromas of black raspberry, dark chocolate, cedar, licorice and mint. Rich, lush and sweet, with noteworthy depth to the flavors of dark fruits, smoke and chocolate. Wonderfully broad and tactile in the middle palate. Finishes with sweet, dusty tannins and sneaky persistence. This fine-grained, stylish and downright sexy wine is clearly more successful than the 2005.
Bright ruby-red. Subdued but precise aromas of cassis and licorice. Juicy, fine-grained and sophisticated if reserved today. This is actually less opulent and obvious today than the lush, smokier 2006 Reserve de la Comtesse (87-89) but wonderfully broad, sappy and chewy, not to mention dynamic. Really spreads out to coat the palate on the very long finish and leaves the taste buds vibrating. This youthfully reserved wine should be a beauty.
The fruit on the nose is very concentrated but the palate feels lighter, the bilberry and sloe have fragrance. Power shows on the mid palate, the roundness of the tannins fleshing out the fruit; oak and cedar wood rather dominates the finish at the moment.